The Weekly: 1

To all the wonderful people out there. And the non-wonderful ones. (There are a few of you.)

This is the first of what could be many weekly newsletters. Hopefully this list grows to include more than just my own email address. But not too big. I don't want robots reading this. Or the NSA. Actually the NSA could probably use a laugh and some cooking tips. Which is exactly what you're going to get in this newsletter.

Thought: What do the Taliban do for fun? Dancing with the Sheiks? Survivor: Jalalabad? The business of terrorism must be a grind. How do they blow off steam? Certainly not at the gym. The leaders look like they’ve been eating their sadness ever since they lost their favorite mascot, bin Laden. Say what you will about radical Islamic jihadists but that’s not how I’d want to look when I greet 72 virgins.

Dish I’m CookingAsparagus Risotto, w/ mint, Brussels Sprouts. It's spring. Which means asparagus. What goes with asparagus? Mint. Who knew it went in more than tea and mojitos? [I did.]

Cocktail I’m DrinkingCoconut Pineapple ICE and Astor White Rum. The Sparkling ICE people had to know we’d just be drinking these as cocktail mixers, right?

Purchase I'm PurchasingThese planters by Lechuza. They're sleek, modern looking, and water themselves. Perfect for my basil and mint crops. And my laziness.

Quick Tip [don't make it dirty]: Dry brine beef for better seasoning and a browner crust. Contrary to intuition, salting meat like this does not dry it out. Surface salt will pull moisture out of the air (what little there is of it) until moisture droplets accumulate on the surface. And that moisture will get sucked into the meat along with the salt. Pretty cool way to salt the inside of the beef and it has the added benefit of drying out the surface, so when you put it in the pan you’ll expend less heat driving away excess surface moisture and more time kickstarting those maillard (browning) reactions. 

To dry brine: 

  1. Rain salt down upon that cut of cow until it looks like the first dusting of snow on christmas morning.
  2. Repeat on all sides.
  3. Put it in the fridge, uncovered, for 24 hours.
  4. Cook.